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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Treatments

Efforts to ease the symptoms of autism are beginning to ramp up, with promising candidates in various stages of testing.

January 2011

Genetics: Changes in the womb linked to autism in the child

by  /  25 January 2011

High levels of serotonin in the womb may up the risk of autism in the child, according to a study published in December in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.

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Brain-wave patterns bolster mouse models of autism

by  /  25 January 2011

Mice exposed to an epilepsy drug show several features of autism, including abnormal social interactions, repetitive behaviors and patterns of super-fast brain waves, called gamma oscillations, according to a study published 15 December in Biological Psychiatry.

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New drug rescues function in fragile X syndrome

by  /  20 January 2011

A new drug appears to relieve symptoms of fragile X syndrome by blocking the over-production of a key protein in a subset of people with the disorder, according to a 6 January study in Science Translational Medicine.

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Molecular mechanisms: Scientists debut fruit fly ‘connectome’

by  /  19 January 2011

Using tricks of genetic engineering, researchers in Taiwan have created the first comprehensive map of the myriad neuronal connections in the fruit fly brain. The findings appeared 11 January in Current Biology.

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Scientists debut fruit fly ‘connectome’

by  /  19 January 2011

Using tricks of genetic engineering, researchers in Taiwan have created the first comprehensive map of the myriad neuronal connections in the fruit fly brain. The findings appeared 11 January in Current Biology.

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Mind games

by  /  7 January 2011

As more drugs enter clinical trials for fragile X syndrome and soon, hopefully, for autism, the placebo effect will become an important consideration.

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IQ scores not a good measure of function in autism

by  /  6 January 2011

Most studies define high-functioning children as those with an IQ above 70 or 80, but this is problematic for a number of reasons, say some scientists. The assumption underlying the use of high IQ as a synonym for high functioning is suspect because social and communicative abilities may have a far greater impact on an individual’s daily interactions.

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December 2010

Jumping genes implicated in Rett syndrome

by  /  27 December 2010

The neurons of people with Rett syndrome contain an overabundance of retrotransposons — DNA sequences that copy and insert themselves into new spots throughout the genome — during early development, according to a study published 18 November in Nature.

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Robots spark social play in children with autism

by  /  23 December 2010

Children with autism play eagerly with robots — and their social interactions with people improve as a result.

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BAP and blue

by  /  22 December 2010

Depression in mothers of children with autism may not be a consequence of their child’s condition, but of their own genetic profile, says a provocative new study.

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